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Intel set to chop AMD Yukon's legs with new ultra-portable CULV platform

by Tarinder Sandhu on 19 January 2009, 16:24

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), AMD (NYSE:AMD), NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA)

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Yukon too late?

You'd think AMD had scored a minor win with its Yukon notebook platform, comprising of Athlon Neo CPU, reduced-power 690G motherboard, and an option to upgrade to a Mobility Radeon HD 3410 graphics card, right?

HP was the first to show how good a Yukon thin-and-light notebook could look, positioning it somewhere between a netbook and full-sized laptop. Slinky lines and power-efficient performance meant that, when fully released in April of this year, it would provide real gusto in the $699 space.

But then came NVIDIA marching on the scene, pairing up Atom with GeForce 9400m-class graphics with the ION platform. Still, though, it is some way off being 'productised' for the masses, leaving Yukon with a small window of opportunity before another hammer-blow is struck.

But, now, it seems that Intel isn't prepared to yield any potential market-share in the thin-and-light ($699) notebook space that AMD is staking a claim to. If rumours are to be believed, Intel will be doling out the pain with a CULV (consumer ultra-low voltage) platform that, presumably, will take on board a vastly reduced-power Core 2-derived processor and inexpensive, shrunken-down supporting chipset.

If the thinking behind CULV - something like an 8-15W Core 2 chip and 945GSE chipset - becomes a reality in the next three months, then AMD's Yukon-based notebooks will find it increasingly difficult to compete against the almighty Intel dollar.

Yukon, whilst undeniably good on paper, really needed to be out and available right now, but it seems as if April is just too far away...



HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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April is too far away. It does have the HDMI out and bly ray capable grpahics on it's side but if intel pair theirs to an nvidia card.. could be game over...again.
Its possible but, Intel seem to be actively steering everyone away from Nvidia ion stuff for their atom. They really don't seem to want to play ball with Nvidia at all. But either way, the reason AMD has a great thing going with the Yukon is low power + performance, while ATOM as a cpu uses quite a bit less power but due to chipsets and general things offers massively lower performance for similar system wattage. Now a 15W core 2 duo, and a nvidia chipset, I can't see the combo beating AMD for power and performance, maybe one, but not both. AMD are sitting pretty on a nice setup and will probably offer better price/performance still.

If intel try and do anything uber low power and their own chipsets, at the moment, they can't compete on power even if they want to offer inbetween netbook/laptop performance, AMD should have them on power.

ATOM is simply too underpowered, and that low a wattage Core 2 Duo will have to be very low clocked.

But this whole thing hinges on Nvidia helping INtel and Intel, till now, seem to be doing everything possible to get OEM's not to make netbooks with Nvidia bits in. Now its possible Intel will agree to use Nvidia in that area as long as they smeg off from netbook sales, as Intel are assuming netbooks will sell vastly higher numbers so they want the whole thing to themselves.
drunkenmaster
ATOM is simply too underpowered, and that low a wattage Core 2 Duo will have to be very low clocked.


I don't know, Intel currently have a 10W Core 2 Duo part [en.wikipedia.org] at 1.4Ghz, and 17W parts at 1.866Ghz. From the links in the article Yukon is clocked at about 1.6Ghz, and Core 2s have a pretty significant advantage clock for clock IIRC. Pricing will be important though naturally, those ones I mentioned are currently priced around $300 apiece.
Companies are still, reportedly, reeling from the decline in notebook sales and while the current economic climate is probably the main reason, netbooks are probably a very close second.
The margins on the notebook equipment is much higher than those on the netbooks, Intel and their manufacturing partners would much rather be selling Centrino 2 platforms than the Atom one.
This means that Intel is very worried about having an Atom-based netbook having anywhere near the performance of a Centrino 2 notebook, nVidia's ION is a chipset that could do this for some applications.
Even Microsoft is only allowing XP on netbooks with less than a certain system specification in an attempt to push Vista on machines that have the absolute minimum spec for it. The only reason that XP is still floating around is that Linux on netbooks scared the heck outta MS.
i'm not suprised intel are worried about atom and nvidia.
Im sat here right now on a msi wind upgraded to 2GB running windows Vista ultimate and its perfectly usable.
I used to be a pc building addict and spend £1000's on upgrades etc but to be honest this little machine is now my main machine. For listening to music, surfing the net, chatting, keeping in touch, watching non hd video, even light photoshop work atom is more than good enough. With a NV GPU i really do think that 80-90% of people really wouldent need a core 2 based system.
Intel dont want there bottom line being savaged by there cheap cpu. it's a shame, cause its one of there best products IMHO.